MEC Reviews – The Raven and the Banshee, Carolyn Elizabeth

Ms Elizabeth had me at the book blurb. Lesbians. Pirates. It’s the perfect pairing. Okay, so Branna Kelly isn’t a pirate per se … but she’s a daring sea captain intent on revenge against the despicable pirates who killed her parents and have been terrorizing the seas for years. That’s close enough for me.

The Raven and Banshee is a great adventure set in the 1700s that brought back a lot of good memories of the old swashbuckler movies I loved as a kid – but with two female leads which is even better.

Julia Farrow and Branna Kelly were young and in love, but the potential scandal led to Julia’s father threatening to destroy Branna’s father’s career as a captain. Forced to spurn Branna’s declaration of love and sending her off on a voyage with her parents, Julia’s guilt and regret is devastating when Branna’s father’s ship is reported as being attacked by pirates with no survivors. But never fear, Branna managed to escape with a scar and a grudge. Over the years, Branna built her reputation and skills as the captain of The Banshee, a mercenary ship that harried pirates and ne’er do well’s around the Bahamas. When Branna’s ship comes across an seemingly abandoned ship, they find Julia chained in the hold with a message for Branna from the dread pirate who Branna has chased all these years.

I don’t want to give the story away, suffice to say that there’s lots of drama, lots of action, lots of betrayal, lots of brooding, lots of romance. This was a great way to spend the weekend – immersed in an exciting and action-packed story that didn’t shy away from some gore and mayhem.

As with Ms Elizabeth’s other novels, her main characters are engaging and well rounded and even the secondary characters felt real and fleshed out. There’s good chemistry between Branna and Julia, the second chance romance is always a favourite trope because it makes you root for the couple even more. Branna’s pride and Julia’s not always smart decisions gave them enough obstacles to overcome and the time to let the rekindled romance simmer

For a good time – read this book.


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